The Hearing And A Revelation
The words flowed from Edna’s fingers like a river of letters and punctuation marks. It was so easy for her to write it all down, as if those words had been waiting for years to be written down. The story, so far, was not perfect but she was in no hurry to finish it or publish it. She had plenty of time to refine it and draw illustrations. Speaking of drawing, her picture for Art class was not quite finished yet. She did have all of summer but her friendship with Bianca, who always did her homework and projects as soon as possible, taught her not to wait until the last moment to do these kinds of things. Edna looked at the clock in the corner of her laptop screen, noticing it was almost time to meet Tina’s old friends. In this case, the following day was another day, too. She saved and closed her text file and turned off her laptop.
“Come on, Harv”, Edna said while taking her blue lagomorph into her arms. “Time to meet Tina’s friends.”
“Yippie! And cause mayhem!“, he exclaimed excitedly. Edna opted not to say anything about this. She knew most people were not exactly fond of the idea of wreaking havoc, at least not the destructive kind Harvey liked so much. Thus, she simply smiled and patted his head and left her room, Tina left her own room at the same time and both girls met in the living room.
“Ready to go?“, she asked, to which Edna nodded in affirmation. “Good.”
Both females and the rabbit left the apartment together and got in Tina’s car. The ice cream parlor, where they were supposed to meet the older girl’s friends, was actually in the next town. So, it was easier and faster and more reliable to drive with the car than going by bus. The short drive began...
Lilli was at home, tending to her flowers with a merry, little tune on her lips. The little blond girl was excited. A few minutes ago, she was told by her adoptive parents that they would be taking the trailer on a trip due north and rest at camping sites until they would reach Denmark in two weeks and stay there for two weeks. Lilli was ecstatic; she had never been abroad before. All her life, she lived in the little village with an asylum and a convent school before living in the latter after losing her family. She got around more with her new family but always only within Germany’s borders.
Lilli went inside the house to freshen up after she was done tending to her flowers. Not long afterwards, she returned to the garden with her embroidery set and started stitching something that could be a tiger... or a teddy in pajamas. It did not really matter, she could stitch whatever she wanted and if she wanted to improve her skills with needle and stitch, she would need to keep practicing. At least she had improved over the years – back in the convent school, it might as well have been a shapeless, nondescript something but no tiger or teddy. Lilli remembered how Mother Superior, while she was still being her strict self, kept telling her she had no talent and forbade to stitch anything aside from crosses and lines. If anyone had little to no talent in something, Mother Superior would prohibit the students to continue acting out in that particular field and if anyone contradicted her, they would be severely punished. There was one time, shortly after Lilli came to the convent school, when a boy argued that one could only get better if they practiced again and again. He was forced to clear the snow with a spoon. It was not long after the incident that he left the place. Lilli did not know where to but she was sure he was at a better place now. But if she were to see him again, she was not sure if she would recognize him – too much time had passed. And who knew what he would be doing at present time? Perhaps he was still with the church. Or he turned his back to the church. Lilli more or less did the latter as she was not religious. She was not even sure if she had ever been religious in the first place. The only reason she was enrolled to a convent school was because her grandmother forced her mother to before they both died – the former of lung cancer, the latter in a fire. Lilli was actually there when her mother died in a fire and yet, she was not afraid of it, unlike other people, who had traumatic experiences with flames. In fact, it almost fascinated her as much as embroidering and she found the heat and light to be useful. However, she would not let it close to her precious flowers, unless she wanted them to be burned into ashes and that would only happen over her dead body! But she did not want to think about the past and fire. She redirected her thoughts towards the upcoming vacation, once again singing a cheery tune.
Two days had passed since Edna met Tina’s friends. They were kind to her and treated her like she had always been one of them, though they were all a little too serious and not as crazy and fun-loving as Edna’s own friends. One even mocked her for talking with her stuffed rabbit. Luckily, Tina defended her and her other friends did not mock Edna. One, however, voiced her opinion that it was weird but did not make fun of the purple haired girl at all. They spent all day long going through town and shop – most of Tina’s friends were girls who just loved shopping. Edna bought a leather jacket for herself before all the other girls in their group forced her to buy a complete outfit for the jacket. They all watched too many fashion shows... Nevertheless, it was quite an amazing outfit, which would surely leave the Key Master’s jaw on the floor. At least she hoped she would get that kind of reaction from him. If not, she had to think of something else and try another strategy. Edna wanted to let him know what she felt for him without saying it out loud. She quietly scoffed at herself and shook her head when she realized how ridiculous her thoughts were. A few years ago, she would have never bothered to look attractive for the opposite sex. But then again, a tiny little voice inside her head piped up, you were too busy evading Doctor Marcel to really think about men a few years ago. Edna had to admit, the voice had a point. And it was not just evading that grumpy old man but also the ten years wasted in a padded cell. The Key Master was the first man she had feelings for since she started living a relatively normal life. Hard to believe, considering the day she first met him and yet, even then, she had felt a tiniest bit of attraction towards him... that disappeared when she saw a corpse dangling from the church bell and the Key Master sitting on a railing next to it. That image destroyed any positive thoughts and feelings she had towards him. But over the last few weeks, she regained those to the point of even developing a crush on him. Edna was still amazed that it happened; she had always been so content being single. But those are the kinds of things in life one could not control.
Edna heard the front door open and close and, a moment later, Tina appeared in the living room with a loaf of bread and the newspaper. Exchanging words of greetings, she put the latter object down on the dining table before going to the kitchen with the loaf of bread. Edna took the newspaper and skimmed through the reports of the current happenings. Celebrity couples breaking up, politicians making senseless decisions no one could fathom, petty crimes and all the other usual stuff were printed in those pages. Edna, who read some of the reports, was about to fold the newspaper and put it back on the table when she noticed one small article about something that happened in this town. She read it, learning a corpse of an older man had been found in an alleyway by a woman, who was taking out the trash. No more details were known and the police investigated whether the man was murdered or not. This article worried Edna, who put the newspaper back on the dining table, for some reason. Perhaps it was the fact that the dead man was found in her current hometown but she had a feeling there was more to this. Edna shook her head. It was ludicrous; the identity of the man was not given in the article, so she knew nothing about him. There was no real reason for her to be that concerned about it – only when it would turn out that she was acquainted with the man or if this was the beginning of a mass murder. She really hoped it was neither.
“Anything interesting?“, Tina, who just returned from the kitchen, asked. She carried a plate with four slices of bread, two of them were with butter and sausage, the other two with Nutella.
“A corpse has been found in this town”, Edna stated. “But other than that, just the usual stuff.”
“A corpse?“, Tina repeated. “And they’re not sure if it was murder or something?”
“Read for yourself”, Edna replied, pointing at the newspaper. Her housemate took a seat and placed her plate next to the newspaper. She began looking for the article while eating her breakfast. Edna, meanwhile, decided to get her sketch-pad, a pencil and eraser as well as Harvey from her room. When she got back, she noticed that Tina seemed to have found the article she told her about since the blonde’s lips silently formed the words and she held one slice that got a bite out of aloft.
“I’m going out”, Edna announced while putting on her shoes.
“Alright, be careful out there”, Tina responded, waving her slice around. “See you when you get back.”
Edna’s destination was the local park, where she was going to meet the Key Master later. For now, she would simply spend her time drawing illustrations for her story and since it was another beautiful day, she decided to do this outdoors. She had taken a seat right underneath the same tree she sat at during her final Art lesson two weeks ago. She found it to be a nice spot for relaxation and the view was pretty, too. Humming to herself, she opened her sketch-pad and began sketching the characters for her story. The first character was the heroine and her loyal, lagomorph sidekick. Edna had decided that the main character’s sidekick would usually appear as a rabbit that could shape shift into different creatures when the need arose. It was different than how it was in her dream but it was just the inspiration to her story. Not even she knew how it would all come together. But she wanted it to be a magnificent story, so she would work hard on it whenever she found the time to. Thankfully, she had a lot of it for six weeks. Her rough sketch of the heroine was finished. It looked a lot like herself; no surprise there, seeing that every character in her dream was played by herself and people she knew. Edna would be working on the character design in time, there was no need to hurry or rush. It was not like she had a deadline.
After spending two hours of sketching, Edna decided to take a break, especially because her hand was hurting and she was also thirsty. Gathering her things together, she headed for the nearest store to buy a cherry juice. She was just about to leave the park when she saw a familiar platinum blond girl with her dog in the distance. So much for not seeing her, Edna thought while rolling her eyes. Fortunately, Heike did not seem to have noticed her, although it was hard to judge since she always made a face as if she was smelling dung. Wanting to avoid talking to Heike and thus risk losing a couple of brain cells, Edna quickly went down the path towards the exit of the park. She was almost there when she collided with Gabrielle and both fell on their behinds.
“Watch where you’re going”, she groaned grumpily while getting up.
“Sorry”, Edna apologized, also getting up. “On your way to meet Heike?”
“Yes, I am. And she’ll be mad if she has to wait for me”, Gabrielle replied, dusting herself off.
“Why are you even always with her? Don’t you think there are other, better people to be friends with?“, Edna inquired, putting emphasis on the word ‘better’.
“Well, who would want to be my friend? No one. Heike told me that more often than not”, Gabrielle whispered the last part, looking away from Edna with a frown on her face. Edna never got along with her but at this moment, she could not help but feel sympathy towards her. It was the first time that the purple haired woman realized how bad Heike’s influence was on Gabrielle. What kind of person would tell someone no one would want to be their friend? To Edna, it seemed that Heike needed to make others feel horrible to feel good. The dislike she felt towards her increased by the seconds to the point of hatred.
“I’m sure you’d be able to find other friends if you just try”, Edna tried to convince Gabrielle.
“Perhaps”, she mumbled and sighed. “I should go...”
Gabrielle went on her way with Edna looking worriedly after her. She wished she could do something to help her. When she turned around again, she found herself face to face with the Key Master. Gasping in surprise, Edna jumped a step backwards.
“How long have you been standing there? You nearly gave me a heart attack!“, Edna exclaimed, drawing a few strange looks towards her.
“Me too! If I had a heart, that is”, Harvey commented. The Key Master put his hand on Edna’s back and steered her out of the park.
“Uh, where are we going?“, Edna questioned, alternatively glancing at her companion and at what was in front of her. However, she received no answer and was instead pushed towards an unknown location. It was only after she protested that she can easily walk on her own did he stop shoving her. Now they were walking next to each other, with her being a step behind the Key Master. Edna was puzzled. Where was he taking her? He never acted like this before; she was not even sure if she should still accompany him or if she ought to run away.
“I say run away”, Harvey chimed in but Edna just patted his head to calm him down.
“Where are we going?“, she repeated her question.
At least he said something, a disgruntled Edna thought to herself. She thought they were supposed to meet in the park but the Key Master’s strange behavior made her wonder if something happened. As they went on, she finally began to register and recognize their surroundings. It was a part of town Edna rarely ventured to since it was a little too far from her home and she did not like taking the bus. A moment after she realized where they were, they reached the market place, which was devoid of any stands.
“Uh, what are we doing here?“, she questioned, glancing around. There were only some people around, aside from them, and a few pigeons.
“I thought we could spend our time in another location”, the Key Master responded. “Of course, we could always return to the park.”
“No”, Edna shook her head. “It’s just you’ve been behaving oddly the whole time.”
Although she did not mention it, she noticed he had been behaving weirdly since he left her apartment early Saturday morning. She often caught him looking uncertainly at her, as if he was about to say something only to keep quiet about what was bothering him. The Key Master never behaved like this before; he was usually so confident that he could convince others to do work for him. Edna should know, she made a copy of the asylum’s master key under his instructions after all. In fact, she did most of the dirty work for their breakout. Next time something similar to this would happen, she would insist that he would not let her do all the work.
Edna sat on the edge of a well, placing her possessions to her left. The Key Master, meanwhile, took a seat on the other side of her. He seemed to be calm, at ease, but Edna noticed there was something different about him. His eyes would often dart around before setting on her and then he would open his mouth only to close it again. This went on for several times. Edna did not know what to think; she only felt uneasy at the sight of this man being so unsure. His nervousness might have been kind of cute if he was about to confess his feelings but she had a hunch this was not the case. Something told her he was like this because of something negative that happened. Did he perhaps know something, anything about the murder that took place just recently? Had he seen something? If he did, then he would probably have valuable information for the police. Edna could not blame him for being nervous in this case. There was a chance he would be recognized as a psychotic murderer by the police. Then again, he had been walking around town for quite some time now and no one recognized him yet. Still, there was no point in taking any unnecessary risks. Besides, if the police were competent enough, they would solve this case sooner or later. Nevertheless, Edna wanted to know what was going on with the Key Master and she would never know if she just kept silently speculating. Thus, she took a deep breath and began to speak.
The pale, green-skinned man looked to his left to see his female companion eyeing him with a mix of worry and curiosity in her eyes.
“Is something troubling you? You seem like you have something on your mind...”
The Key Master wanted to tell her about the murder he committed. He wanted to tell her why he did this and how he felt about this. He wanted to confess but instead, he said:
“No, everything’s fine.”
So much for telling her about this, he chastised himself in his mind. Edna stared at him for a while longer, not bothering to hide the skeptics she was most likely feeling at this moment. The Key Master could not even explain to himself why he lied to her; he had no trouble confronting her with the truth when he killed the reverend. But this time? It was like he wanted to protect her from this, like he wanted to fight this battle alone. But it was no battle. It was just senseless murder of an innocent, albeit chauvinistic, man for a rather ludicrous reason. For a moment, he did not know whether months or even years had passed since he last killed someone before past Saturday. When was the last time he killed a person? He could not recall for he had lost his sense of time a long time ago. Only the changing of seasons and the annual Christmas decoration as well as the occasional peek at the newspapers told the date. Oh yes, now he remembered; it was years ago.
“If you say so...“, Edna interrupted his musings. “But if there really is something, you can tell me. I won’t bite.”
Still, the Key Master said nothing. He wanted to but could not bring himself to. He could already see the worry and kindness in her face turning into disappointment and anger, perhaps even rage. No, he did not want her to feel any negative emotions – the young woman he had grown to like over the last few weeks. He preferred seeing her in a good mood with her only worries being what she should wear for the day or where she placed the remote. But he also knew he could not keep things secret from her forever. Sooner or later, she would find out.
“Thanks, Princess. I will keep that in mind”, the Key Master responded. “And my door’s always open for you if you find yourself in any kind of predicament.”
They spent the rest of the day strolling around and eating ice cream until evening approached. That was when Edna said good bye for now and left for home. He, too, decided to return to the place he could currently call his home.
The day of the hearing arrived. Edna had almost forgotten all about it until Tina mentioned it the evening before. Since then, she had been feeling nervous to the point of being unable to sleep. She did not know what to expect from the hearing. It was the first time she had to go to one, unless one counts the time she had to give evidence in regards to Doctor Marcel a few years ago. Not that it really helped, seeing that he was still out and about and most likely making his patients’ lives a living hell. Why could not people like him be locked up?
Edna walked the empty streets in the earliest hours of the day. Not even the sun was up yet but she could not sleep, try as she might. Perhaps a short walk would do her good and get her mind off things. It was ridiculous. Why should she feel nervous about this? Even before the question was completely formed in her mind, she had an answer already. What she did could be more or less considered as aggravated assault, perhaps even attempted murder. There had been a risk of Heike drowning, after all. Maybe she was nervous because she did not know what to expect when the hearing was over.
“Edna?“, she heard someone call her from nearby. The young woman looked around and found the Key Master approaching her.
“What are you doing out here so early in the morning?“, he inquired.
“Couldn’t sleep and I thought a walk would do me good”, Edna replied. “But what about you?”
“Same with me, I can’t sleep either”, he answered. “I woke up because I was thirsty and since then, I had trouble going back to sleep. I assume it’s something similar in your case?”
“No, it’s not”, Edna shook her head and went on to explain what had been troubling her. The Key Master was an excellent listener; never did he once interrupt her. The more she told him, the more sympathy he showed on his face. By the time she was finished, he had put his arms around her and simply held her. Edna appreciated his effort of comforting her, even if it did not work entirely. It was not like it did not help at all – it helped a lot actually – but she did not stop thinking about what was going to transpire in a few hours.
“I’ll be there for you, hiding in a bush outside the police station”, the Key Master whispered. Edna chuckled. “You won’t be alone.”
Edna leaned back far enough to look at the man’s face and beamed at him. She was so happy that he became one of her closest friends and that he was not the insane man she met all those years ago anymore. Maybe things would have taken a completely different direction if he had been the way he was now back then. But this was perhaps only meant as a “what if” situation that might have an answer in a parallel universe, just like how there was a universe of every possibility of choices people made in their lives. Even as she thought about those things, she was nevertheless glad about the present, despite her nervousness about what would be going on later that day.
“I don’t know what I would do without you as a friend”, she said, not being able to wipe the smile off of her face. “You’re simply the best.”
“While I appreciate your compliment, I thought you had other friends as well?“, the Key Master retorted. “Surely you would still know what to do if I weren’t there.”
“Yeah, right”, Edna agreed, her smile having turned into a grin. This was a moment where she could have confessed that there was more than friendship she felt towards him. But, alas, as it was usual with the species known as Homo sapiens, communication was not their strongest suit and therefore, things that should be said were left unsaid. Edna asked herself if she would ever be able to admit her feelings out loud. Gently, she disengaged herself from the Key Master.
“Well, I should better get home. I see you later.”
She heard him saying good bye to her as she made her way back to her apartment. The walk back did not take long and within minutes, she was back in her room, wearing her pajamas again. Tina was still fast asleep and thus had not noticed that Edna had been gone. The purple haired woman attempted to sleep but her thoughts kept drifting back to her hearing in several hours. She tossed and turned around in her bed, Harvey fell off once or twice. She thought about what could or would happen after the hearing. Her worst fear was that she would have to go to an asylum and the nearest one happened to be the one she fled from all those years ago. She did not want it to happen; the thought of leaving her friends behind ached her. She knew what would happen to her if she was sent back to the mental institution and she did not like it one bit. While she kind of liked Alfred, she did not want to be turned into a female version of him.
“Damn, I just can’t sleep”, Edna muttered after Harvey fell once again off the bed. She picked him up and also took Vivian’s diary. Perhaps reading would do her some good.
It was hours later when Edna, accompanied by Tina, entered the local police station. She had read her mother’s diary until Tina knocked at her bedroom door and told it her it was time to get up. Several policemen were running around and exchanging information or receiving instructions. From what Edna could hear, it was about the corpse that had been found. However, this was of no concern for her. She had another thing to worry about at the moment. After having asked a policeman for directions, Edna and Tina found themselves in front of one of the office doors. Taking one deep breath to calm her nerves, the former knocked. A female voice from the other side responded with a permission to enter a second later. Wishing to get this over with, Edna pushed the door handle down and she and her friend entered the office. The red curtains were closed, giving the whole room a red tint that reminded Edna of the sunset. A single potted plant stood in one corner, on one file cabinet was a plush figure of Bugs Bunny leaning against the wall. The desk was covered with files, pens and a computer as well as a small plush figure of Sid from the Ice Age movies. The police officer, who permitted them to enter her office, sat behind her desk, looking at them with a kind expression.
“Ah, good morning, Miss Konrad”, she greeted Edna in a friendly tone. Then she looked at Tina, repeating the two words “good morning”. While both girls took a seat, Edna pondered how the policewoman knew she was the one invited to the hearing and not Tina. As far as she knew, none of them had to deal with the local police before.
“I’m Officer Schmitz. You look a lot like your mother”, the policewoman remarked before clearing her throat and continuing in a professional voice: “Now then, as you know, you’ve been reported by Miss Heike Hinterwaldt for aggravated assault against her. You have the right to remain silent; everything you say can be used against you.”
“Um, doesn’t she also have the right to call a lawyer?“, Tina questioned, tilting her head in curiosity. Officer Schmitz stared at her, obviously displeased by the interruption, and gave a response:
“Yes, she has.” She turned back towards Edna: “You can commence making your statements, Miss Konrad.”
Edna took one deep breath and began telling what happened that day:
“Well, I was sitting at the pond, minding my own business and wondering what the ducks could be quacking about. Heike, Daniel and Gabrielle appeared after a few minutes and they mocked me because I had my rag doll rabbit with me. Then Heike took my rabbit away and she and the others kept mocking me. However, when she insulted and maligned my parents, I just lost it. I was already mad about the insults towards me but when she began to verbally attack my parents, I felt like a volcano and all my bottled up rage broke out.”
“So, you acted because of your emotions, is that correct?“, the officer interrupted.
“Correct”, Edna confirmed.
“Did something like this happen often? I mean you doing something because your emotions overtook you?“, Officer Schmitz inquired. Edna stared forlornly at her. She could think of one circumstance where she could give an affirmative answer to the officer’s question. She could see the event happening in her inner eye as clearly as a clean window. Slowly, Edna raised her head and gave a nod in confirmation.
“Only once before this incident.”
“I see. Were there other people around that day? People who saw what happened?“, Officer Schmitz asked. Edna thought back to the day but unfortunately, she had not paid attention if there were any more witnesses. Only Harvey could testify her statements. She had been too busy trying to get her oldest friend back that she did not bother to look if anyone was watching. The only ones who saw everything were Daniel and Gabrielle. Daniel would surely twist the truth to make it seem that Edna pushed Heike into the pond without any provocation. A few weeks ago, she would have thought the same in regards to Gabrielle but since learning more about her, she was not so sure anymore. Perhaps she would be telling the truth, unless Heike would force her to lie. Edna hoped it was the former; she would have someone backing her up then. Still, she could not really count on Gabrielle and was therefore ready to expect the worst.
“If I may interrupt, Officer”, Tina chimed in, “I’ve seen Heike a couple of times and I’ve seen her treatment of Edna. What my friend told you about her and what she did sounds like something she would do.”
“Would Miss Hinterwaldt even tell a lie to discredit you, Miss Konrad?“, Officer Schmitz questioned.
“I wouldn’t put it past her”, Edna responded. She watched the officer opening a file and taking out two sheets of paper, which she studied.
“I already questioned her and the lad who was with her. Both told me something completely different. However, I have yet to question the lass who saw what happened that day”, Officer Schmitz stated after a couple of minutes. “But I think I’ve heard enough. I will let you know if I need you for further questioning, miss. You may go now.”
Edna heard Tina getting up. She, however, remained seated, gazing curiously at the policewoman.
“Did you know my mother? You mentioned earlier I look a lot like her...“, she asked. Officer Schmitz, who had been busily typing into her computer, glanced at Edna and ceased what she had been doing. She leaned back with her eyes closed and let out a sad sigh.
“Yes, I knew Vivian. We were friends... It’s really horrible what happened to her...”
Officer Schmitz slowly and forlornly shook her head. A small, almost inaudible sniff came from her. Edna opened her mouth again, about to ask what happened but stopped when she felt a hand on her shoulder. She followed the hand and arm up to its owner and found Tina looking at her with a frown and silently shaking her head. Edna looked back at the policewoman, whose shoulders were sagged and whose head hung low. If she could see her eyes, she was sure they would be filled with tears. Making the resolution to continue reading her mother’s diary and start reading her father’s to learn what happened, she got up too.
“Good bye, Officer Schmitz.”
Edna and Tina left the office and made their way through the hallway, avoiding policemen who had their noses stuck in case files or who were animatedly talking with their colleagues. It was amazing how many officers were walking back and forth like it was the main street at rush hour or a supermarket when the unemployed or elderly had gotten their money. Edna could barely recall both times she was at the police station in her old hometown, where it was almost devoid of any officers. There was usually only one officer there; two or more would be a miracle. She figured it had something to do with her old home being a tiny village.
“How do you feel?“, Tina asked, interrupting Edna’s train of thought.
“Actually, better and a lot more at ease now”, the purple haired woman replied. It was true; before she had her hearing, she felt like her heart would burst from pounding rapidly and legs had felt like they were made of metal. Now, her heart was bumping at normal speed and her legs felt like they had lost weight and were thus a lot lighter. She felt like she could run a mile with those light feet.
“I’m going to chat my cousin when we get back home”, Tina mentioned as they left the police station and headed for her car. “And what are you going to do?”
“Hm, I think I’m just gonna walk around town”, Edna replied with a shrug. While she was talking, she noticed something moving in the shadows. Narrowing her eyes at the specific spot, she soon realized it was the Key Master. Happy to see that he actually did what he said he would do, she flashed him a radiant smile. Then she turned back to Tina:
“But you can send Nicole my regards.”
“Will do”, Tina smiled while opening the car doors. She got into the driver’s seat and Edna got into the passenger’s seat.
The Key Master still had some money he had gotten from Edna left and he planned to use it now. A bus stop was nearby and the next bus was about to arrive in a few short minutes. He waited for the public transportation to arrive, hoping Edna would not have left her apartment yet by the time he arrived. Otherwise, he might as well search the town for her just so he could spend time with her. He had not heard a single thing of what Edna and the police officer had been saying during her hearing. In fact, he did not even know in which room she had her hearing. Nonetheless, he hoped everything went well.
The bus arrived and the Key Master was the only person to climb in while a handful climbed out. He told the bus driver his destination and paid accordingly. Then he took an empty seat in the back, staring out of the window while the bus drove through town, halting at each stop to let the passengers out and in. Soon, his stop came up; he got up and walked to the exit when the vehicle started to slow down. Three other people also wanted to get out of the public transportation at this stop. Once the Key Master, as well as the other three, had gotten out, they went their own ways. He headed for Edna’s home, seeing her leaving the building the moment he arrived.
“Oh”, she chuckled. “What a coincidence. I was hoping to meet you.”
The Key Master noticed she had changed her clothes. Earlier, she wore a lavender blouse and light blue jeans and high heels but now she had replaced it with a dark green summer dress that had a purple belt around the waist. She still wore heels but they were not as high as the other pair. In one hand, she held Harvey by his ears and in the other, she had a picnic basket.
“I thought we could have a little picnic”, Edna explained. “If you’re hungry, that is.”
“Well, I only had a sandwich today, so I don’t see why not”, the Key Master responded. “Where do you plan to have this picnic?”
“How about at your place?“, the young woman suggested. He thought of a short moment before offering his arm with a big grin.
“May I escort you, my fair lady?“, he asked jokingly. Edna chortled and linked her arm in his.
“How kind of you to let me come”, she said, pronouncing each word with care. Both of them chuckled at the ridiculousness of the situation. He had not intended to fool around but he had not been able to stop himself from doing so and actually, he was kind of glad he did. It lightened the mood, though it was already light. Arm in arm, the green-skinned man and the purple haired woman walked through town to the outskirts and into the woods.
Soon, they arrived at the wide open field with the single hill and the single house at the foot of the hill. They decided to walk up the hill and have the picnic beneath the tree that stood atop it. Edna unhooked her arm from the Key Master and ran up, with him chasing after her. She reached the top first and cheered him on, laughing merrily.
“You’re certainly in a better mood than this morning”, the Key Master remarked. Edna simply grinned.
“Well, there’s nothing occupying my mind anymore”, she said good-naturedly while putting her basket and Harvey down. She took a blanket with a red and white checker board design out of her basket and, with the Key Master’s help, spread it out. He placed the basket on the blanket and sat down. He watched her leaning Harvey against the basket before sitting down herself. Then she took out several sandwiches, a cake and a knife, fruits, two thermos and two bottles of cherry juice.
“I hope that’s enough”, Edna said with a sheepish grin.
“That’s more than enough”, the Key Master retorted, staring open mouthed at the food. Even before he was locked in solitary cell, he had never been much of an eater. Usually, he only ate small portions, which was probably why he was so thin. Well, at least he had gained some weight, though he was still skinny. No surprise there, he lacked a proper mal for more than a decade and only started eating regularly a few weeks ago. No one could gain weight and therefore stop looking anorexic in such a short amount of time. That would be a miracle... or a sign of unhealthy nourishment. He took a sandwich, one with cucumbers, tomatoes and bacon, and started eating. Edna was already munching a turkey sandwich while she enjoyed the view. Suddenly, the Key Master noticed, she frowned at Harvey and whispered in a low voice, probably in hopes he would not hear her:
“Don’t be ridiculous, Harv. He was not checking me out.”
The Key Master pretended not to be listening to the conversation, though he could hear every single word Edna was saying but not what her rag doll rabbit was saying. Still, from what he could understand, Harvey accused someone of checking Edna out. Somehow, he had a feeling the blue lagomorph meant him, the Key Master. Why he thought that, he did not know. Perhaps he really did check her out, without realizing it.
“Think what you want, Harvey”, Edna hissed and went back to eating her turkey sandwich. She looked a little frustrated. The Key Master decided to start up a conversation:
“How did your hearing go?”
“Not bad, actually. I told the officer everything I know, so you could say I have a clear conscience”, she replied and finished her sandwich. Then she took out a cup and opened a bottle while adding: “Amazingly enough, she knew my mother. I mean, could you imagine going to the police and meeting an officer who just happened to know your deceased parents? I could hardly believe it!”
“You don’t know much about your mother, do you?“, the Key Master asked, suddenly feeling sympathy for her. She had told him of the diary and of what she read but so far, those were just things from long before Edna was born. He could relate to her as he had little to no memories of his parents either. Like Edna, he found himself waking up in a padded cell with no memories of his past. Some of the memories had returned over the years but of his family, it was little to none.
“No... The only things I know about my mother are the things I read in her diary”, Edna replied and took something out of the basket. It was a book with a lavender blue binding and dark purple and midnight blue spiral patterns. He figured it was the diary his female companion mentioned a minute ago.
“Can you tell me some more of the things you learned about her?“, the Key Master requested, even though she had already done so some time ago. Edna nodded and moved closer to him, leaning against him.
“My mother was a kind woman, who loved children and my father. She loved spending time with her favorite people, just like I do, and she always wanted others to be happy. She was the kind of person you can’t help but liking.”
Edna said this all in a warm and fond voice. The Key Master noticed how she caressed the diary’s binding softly as if it would break if it were not touched lightly.
“Do you remember what happened to her?“, he asked, unable to hide the curiosity in his voice. To his unpleasant surprise and growing sadness, she bowed her head low, so that her dark hair obscured her face like a veil. A low, depressed sigh escaped her.
“No, but it was apparently terrible, according to the officer...”
Suddenly, he felt the need to hold her, to comfort her, even if he was not sure whether or not he really had reason to. But the lost of a parent alone, no matter the circumstance, was enough of a reason to comfort a person, especially when they lost them at a tender, young age. Edna had told him she was only a small child when she lost her mother. The Key Master was sure she was as determined to find out what happened as she was when she wanted to go to her childhood home to find something that could exonerate her father. With feelings of guilt, he remembered how selfish he had been when he locked Edna and himself in the church. He had done this to prevent himself from murdering again, not realizing he also prevented her from finding out the truth. But back then, he had been too angry at himself and at her to care. He even blamed her just to ease his conscience, though he knew he had no one but to blame himself for his murdering tendencies. It was different now; he had once again murdered and this time, he would not be blaming Edna. He was sure she had heard of it by now. He overheard an elderly couple talking about the corpse that had been found; he even saw the article in the newspaper. What would Edna say if she knew the culprit was holding her close? He could imagine her shock and disgust at him and yet, he could not blame her. If he was honest with himself, he felt the same for himself. Oh, how he wished he could shelter her from the truth. But he knew she had to know, even if he could not bring himself to tell her. The fear of losing his only friend was just too great.
“At least I know I have an aunt...“, he heard Edna mutter. She had told him about this the other day and she was positively thrilled at the thought of having a relative who could still be alive. But she also voiced her confusion as to why she never heard of her aunt before.
“Have you found out anything about her whereabouts?“, the Key Master asked. Edna shook her head and said:
“Not yet... I’m tempted to use the Internet but something inside me tells me I would find the answer if I just keep reading...”
The Key Master nodded in understanding, hoping sincerely she would find out where her aunt was. At the same time, he wondered why she never contacted her own niece. Did she and Edna’s mother have a fight and therefore break off contact before Edna was born? Or was there a completely different reason? Or maybe she had met her aunt but the memory had not returned yet? He guessed the only way to find out was for her to keep reading. Hopefully, it would not take long until she found out the truth.
The Key Master’s green eyes flickered down at her only to find that she had fallen asleep during his musings. Her face was buried in his chest and her arms were loosely draped against his waist. Guess she really needed her sleep, he thought to himself while softly stroking the back of her head and remembering the early hour she was up. He, at least, had found sleep after he returned home from his walk. Edna, however, did not look like she slept at all. Now she was in the land of dreams, holding him so that there was no way for him to shift his seating position or to get up without her waking up. He smirked and shook his head in amusement. Every time she would sleep in close proximity to him, she would end up holding him like he was Harvey or a teddy bear. Obviously, she liked to hold him, though he could not imagine why. It was not like he was the most huggable person around, in both personality and appearance. He guessed he would never know...
A couple of more days passed and Edna woke up on a warm Saturday morning. The enticing smell of pancakes drifted from the kitchen to her room. Normally, she would like to go back to sleep but there were two reasons why she got up and left her room instead. One, these pancakes smelled so delicious it would be a shame not to eat them and two, she and Tina would make a trip to the beach with Anika and Bianca. Anika mentioned during her shift the night before that her sister would join them later. Edna looked forward to spending time with her three best female friends. It had been too long since they all spent the day together.
“Good morning”, Tina said as she flipped a pancake over. Next to the stove was a plate with a stack of pancakes. “Anika and Bianca called half an hour ago. We’re going to meet them near the market place.”
“Alright”, Edna responded and took two plates from the cupboard and cutlery from the drawers. She took the items back to the living room and set the table, noticing the newspaper lying in the middle of the table. Wondering if there was anything new about the case with the dead man, she opened it and skimmed through the reports until...
Identity of Corpse And Cause of Death Revealed!
The dead man who had been found in an alleyway Sunday evening has been identified as none other than Mister Helmut Diener (60), known for having affairs with several young girls. The last person to see him alive was Miss Victoria Hore (29).
“He left my home in the early morning hours last Saturday”, told Miss Hore the police. “I haven’t seen him since then but we wanted to meet each other on Sunday. He never came.”
So far, there are no witnesses to the death of Mister Diener but the police have revealed it was murder. According to the forensics, he has been strangled with a thin piece of fabric.
“It was probably a tie or something similar”, said one of the forensics. “All we know is that the weapon was red and green.”
It is most likely the weapon was a red and green tie. According to Miss Hore, he wore one when he left her house but it was missing when he was found. The police asks each citizen to provide information should they have them available.
Next to the article was a photo of Helmut Diener. Edna’s jaw dropped as she looked at the old man. It was the same one who harassed her a few weeks ago! Some of the sympathy she had felt for the dead man had vanished because of the harassment and because he seemed to have no respect for the female gender. Still, she did not think he deserved to be murdered. With a sigh, she folded the newspaper and put it back on the table. A moment later, Tina arrived with the stack of pancakes.
“Breakfast time!“, she announced with a big, goofy grin. The smell made Edna forget about the article.
One and a half hours later, Edna and Tina picked Anika and Bianca up from the market place. Words of greetings were exchanged before they all got into the car and drove to the beach. Every window was open as they drove on the highway. The cool wind blew through their hair with music from one of Tina’s CDs providing background music. At first, it was only her singing along but since her good mood was so contagious that Bianca started to sing along as well while Anika swayed her upper body to the music:
Come, Mister Tally Man, tally me banana
(Daylight come and me wan’ go home)
Come, Mister Tally Man, tally me banana
(Daylight come and me wan’ go home)
Lift six foot, seven foot, eight foot bunch
(Daylight come and me wan’ go home)
Six foot, seven foot, eight foot bunch
(Daylight come and me wan’ go home)
The song ended after several more verses and they all giggled. Only Edna had half a grin on her face. They were a little too cheerful for her liking, which reminded her of Petra, but she did not want to spoil the fun.
“That was fun!“, Bianca laughed. The next song started, which was once again a Calypso song. Their drive continued on with lots of music, singing and laughter and, luckily, with no accidents.
It was around noon when they arrived at the beach. By now, they were all hungry, so they decided to eat lunch first. Tina and Edna led their two friends to the same place they ate lunch at when they were here last time. A long line of people preceded the four friends. Anika let out a low growl but otherwise made no other indications of her displeasure. Edna could not blame her friend of African descendant on her mother’s side. She was starving as well; she should have eaten more for breakfast.
“Any ideas what you guys wanna eat?“, Tina questioned. She stood on her tiptoes and studied the menu. “I think I’m gonna eat a hamburger...”
Bianca, who was the smallest of the group, stood on her tiptoes too. However, she seemed to be unable to see much since she asked if anyone could read the menu to her. Anika, the tallest, did so until Bianca interrupted by announcing she wanted fish sticks while the dark skinned woman decided on currywurst and fries. Edna chose a cheeseburger and it was her who ordered the meals while each girl ordered their drinks for themselves.
“I go save us a table”, Bianca said and went off. Edna would have preferred a table outside but when they arrived, each one had been occupied and, looking out of the window, it did not seem to have changed. Tina went off to join Bianca, leaving Edna and Anika alone.
“Say, when is your sister going to join us?“, Edna asked.
“She couldn’t say for sure but she reckons she can join us when we start our movie night”, the taller woman replied. “It’s annoying when one has to take a business trip at the last minute, isn’t it?”
“Uh...“, Edna began before being interrupted by the announcement that their orders were ready. She took hers and Bianca’s while Anika took the other two meals. They carried the trays to the table where Tina and Bianca sat at.
After lunch, they leaned back, with Tina patting her stomach.
“Whew, that was tasty”, Bianca commented with a satisfied grin. The girls kept sitting in their table for a few minutes before leaving the diner. Just like the last time Edna and Tina were here, they took a walk through town and once again, Tina had her camera with her and was busy taking pictures. Whenever she saw something worth taking a photo of, she would do so, often with Edna, Bianca and Anika in them.
Later, dressed in their bikinis and swimming suits, the girls relaxed on two beach towels near the water. Anika was sunbathing or taking a nap – Edna could not really tell with her friend wearing sunglasses. Next to her were Bianca and Tina busy discussing the current murder case the police was investigating.
“How can there be no witnesses? Wasn’t there anyone looking out of their windows or out in the streets when that happened?“, Bianca exclaimed indignantly. Tina put a hand on her shoulder and replied in a calm voice:
“You have to consider though, there are times when no one would be outside or looking out of the window. It was never revealed when the murder took place. It could have been in the middle of the night; no one would have been able to witness it.”
“It’s mentioned in today’s newspaper he left one of his girls’ houses early in the morning”, Bianca pointed out. “So, we can safely assume it happened around that time.”
“I have to disagree with the usage of the word ‘safely’. The early morning hours was the last time that woman had seen this philanderin’ old guy but it doesn’t mean he was killed at that time. It could be the earliest time he was murdered, though”, Tina replied.
“So, the last time he was seen was early Saturday morning and his corpse was found Sunday evening”, Bianca began but before she could continue, Edna joined in their conversation:
“Therefore, he must have been killed some time between Saturday morning and Sunday evening, somewhere with no witnesses. Culprit could possibly be one of his many girls.”
“Are you sure it could have been one of his girlfriends?“, Bianca questioned.
“It could be a possibility. Girls usually don’t like when their man sleeps with several women”, Anika chimed in. She sat up and took her sunglasses off while adding: “One could be furious that she was not his one and only and killed him because of that. But honestly, I don’t see why anyone would want to be with a guy who’s old enough to be their father or worse”, she shuddered and made a noise that sounded like she was about to throw up, “to be their grandfather.”
“Some people are just like that”, Tina shrugged. “But in my opinion, the world doesn’t need men like him. Y’know, men who only wanna have sex with as many girls as possible.”
“You have my agreement on that one, Tina”, Bianca said. “Guess we can consider ourselves happy we never had to deal with him.”
“Except me... He harassed me a few weeks ago”, Edna quietly piped up, watching two seagulls fighting over a fish burger. She turned her head to her right to see her friends staring at her slack jawed and with big eyes. “Uh, what?”
“How come we don’t know about this? Did you manage to escape? If so, how?“, Bianca questioned, speaking so fast that Edna had trouble understanding her. Nevertheless, she told her friends how that guy insisted on inviting her to his home and her refusing and how another guy came to her defense. During her tale, she left out why she was in the park at such a late hour and who came to her defense; she did not want them to know that she invited the Key Master to her and Tina’s place whenever the latter would not be home at night. Edna knew she would never hear the end of it if they knew of it. After the end of her telling, Anika looked at her with scrutinizing eyes and leaned awfully close to her.
“The guy who defended you... is that the guy you have feelings for?“, she inquired. Tina and Bianca both looked like they would lose their jaws at any second.
“My housemate’s interested in someone and I know nothing about it!?“, Tina leaned close to Edna, staring intently at her. “Now I want to know all the dirty details.”
“Calm down, it’s not like he and I are together. Though we almost kissed once...“, Edna mumbled the last part to herself but judging from the look on her friends’ faces, they appeared to have heard her. She mentally slapped herself for revealing something like this out loud. Just why had she not decided to go into the water once she was in her bikini and had applied sunscreen on her body? If she had, she would not have this awkward conversation now. In hopes of saving whatever was left of her dignity, she stood up and walked to the water. She walked deeper and deeper in the water until she floated and her body got used to the cool temperature. The lower temperature felt refreshing after having spent most of the day in the hot summer sun. Edna enjoyed her swim while surreptitiously keeping an eye out for pirates. One could never know their intentions... and she would not mind joining them but only with Harvey. Unfortunately, her blue friend was at home since this was supposed to be a day for girls only. He had been disappointed when he learned he could not come along with her but perked up when Edna assured him he would be guarding the apartment and could do whatever he wanted should someone attempt to break in. Harvey had immediately counted down all the ways he would or could use to chase the intruder away, with about seventy percent of his ideas involving fire. Edna sincerely hoped no one would break in, otherwise the apartment and all their properties would not exist anymore by the time she and Tina were back home. As much as she loved Harvey, his pyromaniac tendencies could sometimes even scare her but at least he seemed to have learned that she would not destroy anything that did not belong to Doctor Marcel. If she thought about it, after she managed to leave the premises of the asylum, she kind of lost her destructive nature. She could hardly remember the last time she defiled something... except the time she wrote the word ‘poopie’ on Heike’s chair using her handwriting when she, Edna, was alone in the classroom during a free period. Her ability of copying other people’s handwriting, except in two circumstances, had been pretty much useless but it was nevertheless a fun ability to have. But she did not brag around with it, only Tina, Harvey and about everyone in the asylum knew about it. She heard someone call her name. She stopped to turn around and saw Anika swimming towards her. Edna thought about just ignoring her in fear she would want to continue the previous conversation but before she could make a decision, Anika caught up with her.
“Don’t worry, I won’t be asking any questions if you don’t want to tell me”, she assured her. Edna nodded, sighing in relief. She did not like talking about her – non-existent – love life. In her opinion, it was something that only concerned her, although she was always happy to hear when her friends’ relationships with their respective boyfriends went well. Not wanting to think too much about it, she continued swimming. Anika joined her.
Around late noon, after Bianca and Tina had also joined their swimming, they relaxed on the beach towels. Edna and Anika, who had just gone off to get them all ice cream, returned to the other two, who were once again in the middle of a conversation.
“I can’t believe Edna’s got a crush on someone”, Tina exclaimed. “I guess that explains where’s been going off to for the last few weeks. D’you reckon I should go on a shopping tour with her and buy her beautiful outfits, something that would make her crush notice her?”
“Oh honestly, Tina. Do you really think a new outfit would help her? He should like for her personality, not her clothes”, Bianca responded reprovingly. “It’s her choice if she wants to look pretty for him.”
“Yeah, you’re right”, Tina agreed.
“Besides, if you’re so interested in relationships, why don’t you get a boyfriend yourself?“, Bianca questioned. The older girl just grinned and lay down on her back.
“It’s much more fun to meddle in other people’s relationships and possibly help them get together”, she replied, earning a weird look from the half-Italian girl. Before she was able to reply, she was interrupted by Edna and Anika arriving with their ice creams. Edna gave her the ordered Stracciatella ice cream before sitting down in tailor-fashion. Tina sat up again as Anika gave her one with a scoop of vanilla and a scoop of strawberry. Anika had cookie dough and Edna herself had two scoop of chocolate – her favorite was unfortunately not available. The girls quietly enjoyed the cool dessert while watching all the other people here at the beach. Over time, some people had left but others had come instead, so that the beach was still as filled as it was when they arrived earlier that day. No wonder, seeing it was a hot day and people usually like to go to the beach or other public swimming places on such days.
“Uh Edna?“, Bianca spoke up. Edna looked at her, silently encouraging her to go on. “There’s something I’ve been wondering about; you were stuck in an asylum for years... But why were you there?”
Edna took her time finish her ice cream, contemplating whether or not she should tell her. Tina already knew, but that was because she was her housemate. Still, Edna was not entirely sure if she should tell Bianca and Anika and then she wondered to herself why she always reacted that way when she was asked about her past. Edna glanced at Tina, who gave her a tiny nod of encouragement. Thus, Edna took a deep breath and began telling her tale.
“I see...“, Bianca said after she had finished. “But what I can’t comprehend is that your father told the police he killed this Alfred to protect you but you were still a child when it happened and it was an accident, so...”
“Bianca!“, Tina warned her in a reprimanding voice but Bianca either seemed not to hear her or to ignore her.
“... you were never in trouble at all. Your father never needed to tell the police it was him who did this.”
Edna felt like she received a hard punch in her gut. Everything around her seemed to disappear in a blur. She could not hear or see anything. She just wanted to get away. She wanted to be alone. She found herself on her feet and rushed away from her friends, barely hearing one of them calling her name. So, Mattis never had to be executed in the first place if they had just stuck to the truth. Edna felt like she had more reason to blame herself for his death. She wished she had never told Bianca of her past or that she would have just shut her trap. Ignorance was really bliss, Edna thought bitterly. Her life suddenly seemed to have become more depressing with the newfound knowledge. She stopped running, finding herself at a part of the beach with no one around miraculously. Loneness was something she could need right now; she really did not want anyone to be with her. Edna felt something wet on her face. She touched her cheek, right under her eye, to find tears coming from her ocular organs. Well, that would explain why everything was a blur. With a depressed sigh, she sat at the shore with her knees drawn up to her chest and simply let her tears flow. The thought that her father could still be alive hurt so much. Everything that happened to her since the incident did not have to happen if they had only revealed the truth. To think, she could have lived a normal life with Mattis and would now live a normal life. But, there was nothing she could do about it. It was the past and the past could not be changed, no matter how much they wished for it.
“I’ve... I’ve never been fr-free”, she realized in a whisper. If she was really free, she would not continually think of Mattis and of Alfred and she would not tell herself it was all her fault – even if she did tell others it was an accident. But in her mind, she always blamed herself; she never let go of it. So, how could she ever say she was free if she never moved on? She could say she was not physically imprisoned anymore but emotionally, she had lost her contact to Lady Liberty when she was eight years old and had never regained it.
The young woman turned her head to see Tina through her tears. Her friend looked at her with furrowed eyebrows and sad eyes and the corners of her mouth pointed downwards. Edna watched Tina, who approached her and took a seat next to her. Neither said anything, only the sound of the waves and an occasional sniff from Edna accompanied them.
“Were you aware of this?“, Edna suddenly spoke up, looking expectantly at her friend. She noticed Tina’s hesitation as well as her aversion of looking at her. Edna leaned forward and spoke in a demanding voice: “Tell me!”
“Y-yes, I was”, Tina admitted. “Ever since you told me about it the other day.”
All Edna could do was to nod in acknowledgement and then going back to staring at the endless horizon. She wondered if she would ever be able to move on and let it all go, if she could ever be free. More than ever, she wished she could speak to the dead and ask for forgiveness. Maybe then she would be able to move on...
“How... how about we get back and drive home?“, Tina suggested. “Maybe a funny movie could cheer you up.”
“Yeah, okay...“, Edna agreed quietly. She and Tina stood up and dusted themselves off before heading back to the other two. On their way, Edna noticed that the beach was not as stuffed anymore. Just how long was she alone crying? It felt like only a short time had passed but it seemed it was a lot more. In the distance, she could see Anika and Bianca, both who were already back to wearing their everyday clothes again. Bianca rushed to Edna when she and Tina came closer and spoke very fast:
“Oh Edna, I’m so sorry about what I said! If I had been more considerate, I would have shut my mouth! But instead I had to babble like a nosy Nancy and hurt your feelings! You must be mad at me! How can you not be? It’s not like said something as mundane as ‘your hair is horrible’, though I admit I do like your hair-”
“Bianca!“, Edna had to yell her friend’s name to get her to shut up. It did not seem like Bianca would have stopped ranting any time soon if she had not been interrupted. “Don’t think too much about it, I’m not mad at you.”
It was true. While she had felt sadness and grief, she did not feel rage or anger towards Bianca. Edna knew she did not mean to depress her and she appreciated her apology but there was really no need to babble without pausing to take a breath.
“How about you two go and get changed?“, Anika suggested. “We stay here and keep watch on our stuff.”
Edna and Tina took their clothes and went off to the changing stalls. They returned approximately ten to fifteen minutes later and packed all their belongings. Then they all walked to the car and put their stuff in the trunk. Tina, Anika and Bianca got into the vehicle but Edna took an additional minute to take one last view of the beach, pondering when she would be here next time. Hopefully soon...
Edna was half asleep during the drive back home and thought of her father. She tried not to show it but the thought he could still be alive got attached to her like honey on the sole of her shoes. Try as she might, she could not redirect her train of thought to a more joyful route. She tried to think of the upcoming movie night, of the Key Master, of Harvey, of her friend Lilli but no matter what, she was always back to one single sentence: “Mattis could still be alive”. Edna’s eyes started to tear up again but she did her best to hold them back, once again wishing from the bottom of her heart he, as well as Vivian and Alfred, were still alive and well. There was also another wish forming in the depths of her heart, the desire that none of the people important to her would have to suffer the same fate as her parents and her childhood friend. She could not live with herself if anything happened to her friends and to her crush. Watching the passing landscape, Edna made a silent vow to herself; she would do anything to prevent anything happening to them and she would always be there for them if they needed her. No harm should come to them, come what may. She had enough losses in her life; she did not need any more. With this thought in mind, Edna closed her eyes and dozed off.
When she awoke some time later, Tina had parked her car in front of some apartment complex. A second later, she noticed the sun was setting. Another second later, she noticed Anika’s absence.
“Anika’s going to rejoin us with her sister at my place”, Bianca explained just as Tina started the car. Edna nodded in acknowledgement. She was looking forward to meet Anika’s sister after having only heard of her. All she knew about her was that she was a therapist and that she lived together with her boyfriend. Edna wondered what kind of therapist her friend’s sister actually was. Perhaps a psychiatrist? Or a psychologist? Edna vividly remembered the psychologist from the therapy session she attended on the day of her breakout. That lady was an unlikable, stuck up kind of person, in her opinion. Oh well, at least the session helped her reach her goal of winning a medal made of genuine gold. It was also quite convenient that the session happened to take place on the day of her escape.
Her train of thought stopped when Tina parked the car again, this time in front of their place of residence. Everyone in the car got out and Edna and Tina took their bags from the trunk before the three girls entered the building and drove the elevator up to their floor. Not even five minutes later, the three girls were in Edna and Tina’s living room. Bianca took a seat on the couch and skimmed took a Captain Useless comic while the other two went to get their pajamas and hygienic products. Edna also decided to take Harvey with her. After all, there was never a mention that male blue rabbits were not allowed to their movie night.